Vile Creature, Ragana played O’Brien’s Pub – 1/7

Two experimental sludge metal greats held court at a sold-out O’Brien’s, with support from Luci Dead Limb.

Oakland’s Ragana and Ontario’s Vile Creature set out on a short winter tour this month which we were lucky enough to have grace Allston last weekend. The two bands – both guitar/drums duos with politically and sonically progressive leanings – made for a towering and perfectly matched double bill.

Ragana’s approach was the more raw and minimalistic of the two, bringing a blackened edge to brooding compositions that were both harrowing and somehow hopeful. The duo have a new record out via The Flenser later this year, and previewed some of those songs in addition to some older cuts.

I designated Vile Creature as another duo up above there (and I think fundamentally they still are), but Saturday’s set did technically expand them to a three-piece, with vocalist/drummer Vic stepping away from the kit for more of a co-front-person role alongside vocalist/guitarist KW. The new arrangement is working for them, as even in the face of some pesky amp trouble, their pummeling doom-sludge sounded absolutely massive.

Opening the night was Luci Dead Limb, the solo project from Seed’s Lux Lucidi. While the EP you can hear on the project’s Bandcamp is more of a noise affair, the brand new songs that made up Saturday’s set leaned into more of a Grouper-ish ambient folk zone. Good stuff all around.

Check out photos from all three sets below.